China’s Ctrip buys Scotland’s Skyscanner for £1.4bn

Flight search firm Skyscanner, has been acquired by Chinese online travel giant Ctrip for £1.4 billion.

The Scotland-based flight search company was formed as a result of CEO and co-founder Gareth Williams’ frustration with finding cheap flights. It lets users compare prices from different travel sites when searching for flights, hotels, and rental cars. The website currently serves 60 million monthly active users and is available in over 30 languages.

Skyscanner has been reported to be exploring a sale or an initial public offering. Following the deal close by the end of 2016, Skyscanner’s current management team will continue to manage its operations independently.

The deal will mainly consist of cash, with the rest consisting of Ctrip ordinary shares and loan notes. Ctrip was founded in 1999, and it is China’s largest online travel firm. Its revenue for Q3 2016, which was announced today, came in at RMB 5.6 billion ($810 million), that’s up 75 percent year-on-year, with a slim $4 million net profit. Ctrip recently raised close to $1 billion from the sale of convertible notes, a raise that looks to have be coordinated with the Skyscanner deal.